Arabtec Holding Co. jumped to the highest level on record after the biggest traded construction contractor in the United Arab Emirates said it plans to buy a European company and spin off a unit.
The shares surged as much as 13 percent to 8.92 dirhams before closing at 8.71 dirhams in Dubai. The company could announce the acquisition in the second half and may tap the bond market to pay for the deal, Chief Executive Officer Hasan Ismaik said in an interview in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Arabtec may also sell a 40 percent stake in its construction unit in 2015, he said. Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index rose 2.3 percent.
“The news coming out on acquisitions and growing the company into a major conglomerate is inspiring investors,” said Mohammed Ali Yasin, managing director of NBAD Securities, in Abu Dhabi. “The plans are ambitious and investors are giving the company a fair chance to see how it will deliver.”
A resurgence in the U.A.E. real-estate market, where prices tumbled more than 60 percent during the financial crisis from their 2008 peak, is helping contractors such as Arabtec. The company is also expanding into international markets and last month struck an agreement with Egypt’s Defense Ministry to build 1 million affordable homes with a total value of $40 billion.
Arabtec shares have tripled this year, the best performer on Dubai’s benchmark index, which increased 52 percent in the same period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.